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Washington, DC to Become Fourth U.S. City to Have a Michelin Guide (2016)

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13 minutes ago, Bart said:

Don - you may have to modify your signature line now!

C'est vrai.

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I'll be interested to see how the familiar restaurants fare with the Michelin reviewers. Don's reviews are commendably objective, as are those of the members. 

There's little doubt in my mind that the "name" critics in town are often recognized, and that invariably leads to the best experience possible. I'm not going to ID the restaurant, but I recently visited a restaurant that had been reviewed by the WP, and it was clear they knew the critic was coming. I realize the PR game is important, but it's often difficult know whether reviews offer more hype than substance.

As another example, I suspect many members have read the female-themed brunch-oriented blog. I've found most of their reviews are hit or miss, but what really surprised me was the fact that they have restaurants as partners. (Including Central and the Grill Room, btw). How would anyone be able to look to that site for objective opinions?

 

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45 minutes ago, reedm said:

There's little doubt in my mind that the "name" critics in town are often recognized, and that invariably leads to the best experience possible. I'm not going to ID the restaurant, but I recently visited a restaurant that had been reviewed by the WP, and it was clear they knew the critic was coming.

Oh, hell, I know for a fact that the GM of a medium-important restaurant was on his way home when Tom came in - he got a phone call from an AGM, turned around, and snuck back through the rear entrance - they got a 3-star review. That's one of about a hundred stories I could tell you.

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From Todd Kliman's twitter:

Michelin DC predictions:

3 stars:

Fiola Mare.
Komi.

2 stars:

Plume
Rasika
Metier
Little Serow
Minibar
Rose's

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Don't get me wrong, I have loved my meals at Komi and think that it deserves all of the praise that it gets, but it is not a Michelin 3 star restaurant. Nothing to do with substance, but style.

PS - Of course the major critics are recognized, I've outed Sietsema to restaurants.

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2 hours ago, Bart said:

From Todd Kliman's twiller:

Michelin DC predictions:

3 stars:

Fiola Mare.
Komi.

2 stars:

Plume
Rasika
Metier
Little Serow
Minibar
Rose's

That seems optimistic.   Out of all of those I would guess Metier would be the best chance for 3 (I haven't set foot in the place, but from everything I've read here and elsewhere it best fits the "profile").  My guess is a relative slew of 1 star reviews, and a smattering of 2s with the outside chance of a single 3 star.  They aren't coming here blind; just by choosing DC for a city guide they would already have compiled a laundry list of eligible restaurants.  The official reviews will simply sort them into buckets.

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4 hours ago, JPW said:

PS - Of course the major critics are recognized, I've outed Sietsema to restaurants.

I am in and out of a fair number of well known kitchens around town on a regular basis. There is at least one with a photo spread of all the local critics on the wall- there is one notable local critic whose photo is not in said spread- guess who?

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On 5/31/2016 at 11:08 AM, TedE said:

That seems optimistic.   Out of all of those I would guess Metier would be the best chance for 3 (I haven't set foot in the place, but from everything I've read here and elsewhere it best fits the "profile").  My guess is a relative slew of 1 star reviews, and a smattering of 2s with the outside chance of a single 3 star.  They aren't coming here blind; just by choosing DC for a city guide they would already have compiled a laundry list of eligible restaurants.  The official reviews will simply sort them into buckets.

Pineapples & Pearls should be on that list.

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I highly doubt DC will get a 3 star Michelin restaurant. Judging by the current US 3 star places, I'd assume a tasting menu/chef experience/omakase/etc is almost a prerequisite

I think we'll get a few twos and numerous ones

Just my two cents

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On 6/2/2016 at 2:30 PM, danielahn31 said:

I'd assume a tasting menu/chef experience/omakase/etc is almost a prerequisite

If you're talking about the 2 & 3*s I would tend to agree.  

one Michelin star represents a “very good restaurant in its category,” while two stars denotes a restaurant boasting “excellent cooking” that is “worth a detour.” Three stars, however, is the ultimate accolade, afforded only to those restaurants that offer “exceptional cuisine” that is “worth a special journey.”

I think it's tough to be "worth a special journey" if someone comes in and orders a single course.  The obvious exception being the tongue taco at La Taqueria in San Francisco.

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Would be cool to see all the food critics predictions. Might do it this summer as a little fun exercise to see how many places I can guess right from bib gourmand through 3 stars

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Doesn't the quality of the of the silverware and plates and glasses and servers, etc come into play?

For some reason I had the impression that to earn 3 stars, your servers had to be in 3 piece suits and glasses had to be the finest crystal, etc.  

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It will certainly be interesting to see what happens when they put their stars out there.

We all have our favorites and we all think they are the best or some of the best places and want others to know about them and experience them. I think getting a Michelin star or two or three could be a blessing and a curse at the same time.

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Since I have nothing better to do than speculate wildly, I will take a stab at where I think it ends up:

3 stars: none, Michelin will make any deserving restaurant wait and IMO Metier is the only DC restaurant that fits the profile of a 3 star restaurant

2 stars: Metier

1 or 2 star toss up: Fiola Mare, Minibar, P&P (haven't been), Kinship, Komi

1 star: Plume, Rasika, Rose's, Little Serow, Convivial, Marcel's, Jaleo, Rasika, Bombay Club, Fiola, Iron Gate, Masseria, The Source, Bourboun Steak, plus another 1/2 dozen that could go either way (maybe Taro, Ogawa, Seki, Corduroy and 1 or 2 good not great IMO French restaurants).

I think it will be a relatively short list to start, and that you will see more tasting menus and more restaurants prioritize food as something to eat.  The food scene is quite strong, but nowhere close to NY and there are sushi places in NY and SF with 0 stars that are IMO better than DC's best offerings.

Once they move outside DC proper, I suspect Inn at Little Washington will get 3 and that Restaurant Eve, Patowmack Farm, Bartlett Pear will get 1-2 stars.  Can't think of any others I've been to outside DC that are deserving.

Thoughts?

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9 hours ago, ALargeFarva said:

1 star: Plume, Rasika, Rose's, Little Serow, Convivial, Marcel's, Jaleo, Rasika, Bombay Club, Fiola, Iron Gate, Masseria, The Source, Bourboun Steak, plus another 1/2 dozen that could go either way (maybe Taro, Ogawa, Seki, Corduroy and 1 or 2 good not great IMO French restaurants).

....

Once they move outside DC proper, I suspect Inn at Little Washington will get 3 and that Restaurant Eve, Patowmack Farm, Bartlett Pear will get 1-2 stars.  Can't think of any others I've been to outside DC that are deserving.

I think there will be a few steak houses with 1 star.  Red Hen is probably a good bet for another star recipient.

Once the Guide expands outside of DC proper I wonder how regional it will become.   Even on an average traffic day you can get from downtown to Woodberry Kitchen in almost half the time it would take you to get to the Inn.

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This is a yawner for me in general. One point that should be noted; Michelin comes back several times before assigning a rating and service is a big part of the rating. I don't disagree but servers in Europe in many cases choose this as a career, much less so in the US. 

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2 hours ago, DonRocks said:

Oh my God.

Screenshot 2016-07-22 at 18.50.29.png

To its credit, the post did elicit two comments.

To its credit, that chicken rice is phenomenal.  Every time I go to Singapore, I attempt to eat every meal at a hawker stall.  Tian Tian is my usual chicken rice as it's only about 5 minutes from the Marina district where I usually stay. Laziness generally wins when it's 90+ degrees.

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19 minutes ago, zgast said:

To its credit, that chicken rice is phenomenal.  Every time I go to Singapore, I attempt to eat every meal at a hawker stall.  Tian Tian is my usual chicken rice as it's only about 5 minutes from the Marina district where I usually stay. Laziness generally wins when it's 90+ degrees.

@JBRwine

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The release of the Michelin Guide is about one week away. After reading the predictions above, I thought I would offer my own.

Three Stars

minibar

Two Stars

Komi
Métier
Pineapple and Pearls

One Star

Rose's Luxury
Bad Saint
Marcel's
Kinship
Rasika
Masseria
The Dabney
Little Serow

There is always the likelihood that no restaurant in DC will receive three stars. But if there is any restaurant that I think has a chance, it's minibar. Of DC's top-tier dining establishments, it's one that has been around the longest. I'm sure that Michelin inspectors have been vetting DC for a few years now, so they have had many opportunities investigate minibar for consistency. It's for that reason I think Komi could also get three stars. But I think the safer bet is to go with two.

I'm confident that Kinship and Rose's Luxury will both receive a star. But evaluating their respective casual counterparts, Métier and Pineapple and Pearls, is tricky because they haven't been open for as long. It is not unprecedented for Michelin to award two stars to a restaurant shortly after it opens (see Grace and 42 Grams). And the meals I had at both restaurants are on par with 2 Michelin star experiences I've had. Over the next year or two, I expect to see at least one of these restaurants (most likely Métier) receive a third star.

Bad Saint and Little Serow are arguably the two best Asian restaurants in DC. If only one of these restaurants gets a star, I think it would be Little Serow. But If I'm right and both restaurants are rewarded, I wouldn't count on the lines getting shorter anytime soon.

The Dabney is my dark horse pick. Quite frankly, I'm surprised that it hasn't been suggested more often. The reviews on this forum have been mixed from the beginning, though I've noticed more positive reports recently. It's a restaurant that seems to receive higher praise from media outside the city than from locals. Perhaps this will carry over to Michelin appraisal.

A couple restaurants that may be conspicuously absent from my predictions:

Convivial - I know this makes me an outlier, but I think this restaurant is overrated. I don't think it's bad. Just average.

Fiola Mare - I haven't been here yet, so I feel that putting it on my list would accurately reflect my personal experience That said, from all the positive reviews I've seen from critics and foodies alike, I wouldn't be surprised if it were to get one or two stars.
 

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